How many kilograms does a little boy weigh?
What does my baby weigh Why weight is so important
From Claudia Lehnen
What does it weigh This is usually question number 2 from relatives when the happy parents announce the new arrival - right after, is it healthy? Weight and height do not only play an important role on the greeting cards, doctors can read a lot from the weight of the newborn. Professor Richard Berger, chief physician for gynecology, explains.
- The ideal median for birth weight is just under 3,500 grams
- Lightweight Infants - How Can Mothers Influence?
- Lightweight Infants - What Can Be External Factors?
- Why do some babies weigh too much?
- Risks to heavy babies - during childbirth and later
- How prenatal care can help you achieve your ideal weight
- Height at birth does not say anything about the future height of the child
The giant baby Pantagruel was so heavy when it was born that it could only be born by suffocating its mother. As soon as he was out of the body, the giant boy drank his fill of the milk of 4,600 cows. The story told by the writer Francois Rabelais in his novels "Gargantua" and "Pantagruel" in the 16th century is, of course, made up.
Nevertheless: In the truest sense of the word difficult births are also found in abundance in real life. And when it comes to newborn lightweights, medicine keeps setting new records.
The ideal median for birth weight is just under 3,500 grams
Doctors prefer that inconspicuous middleweight. A child has optimal chances when it is scarce at birth 3,500 grams cradle, says Professor Richard Berger, head physician at the gynecological clinic at Marienhaus Klinikum in Neuwied. That's as much as 14 pieces of butter. Or three large heads of cabbage.
According to his information, a good two thirds of all children in Germany are born with a starting weight of three to four kilograms. A third, however, falls short of or exceeds the standard, sometimes considerably. According to Berger, neither is ideal.
Lightweight Infants - How Can Mothers Influence?
The lightest premature babies capable of surviving are born after the end of the 23rd week of pregnancy - and then usually do not weigh much more than 500 grams Chances of survival also depend on gender. “If such an extremely premature baby is announced, we doctors are always happy when it is a girl. Because girls are more mature, the chance that the child will survive is therefore higher, ”says Berger.
Almost every seventh baby in Germany weighs between 2.5 and three kilograms at the start of life, about seven percent also fall below that. The statistics show that in Germany with almost nine percent, the most lightweight children under 2.5 kilograms are born in Saarland come.
"If such an extreme premature baby is announced, we doctors are always happy if it is a girl." Prof. Richard Berger, chief physician for gynecology.
But not just premature birth can lead to a very light baby. Sometimes placental insufficiency is also the cause of the inadequate development. One speaks of this when the uterus does not optimally supply the child with nutrients in the abdomen. According to Berger, expectant mothers can counteract this by themselves eat healthily and do not smoke.
“The children of women who smoke are often lighter than the average,” says Berger. Stress also plays a role that should not be underestimated. But the mother does not always have the weight of the baby in her hand. Illnesses such as pregnancy poisoning can also result in poor supply and thus a below-average starting weight.
Lightweight Infants - What Can Be External Factors?
According to Berger, evaluations from Great Britain have also shown that a high Concentration of nitrogen oxides in the air correlate with an increased number of premature births and thus also a lower birth weight. And a poor general supply situation naturally also plays a role.
If there is war, more light children are born. “A study is still examining the damage that was sustained by people who were born in the so-called starvation winters in the Netherlands in the 1940s,” says Berger.
What you already know: If you started life too easily, you often already have in the first few days struggling with jaundice. This is because the blood of children who are poorly cared for in the womb is often thickened.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, a very low birth weight is also discussed as an influencing factor for metabolic diseases, obesity and high blood pressure in later life.
Link tips from the experts - Professor Richard Berger recommends:
Why do some babies weigh too much?
Almost every tenth baby that sees the light of day in Germany weighs a little over four kilograms. With a fighting weight of more than 4,500 grams, only just under two percent of the boys and less than one percent of the girls start.
If you compare the federal states, you will notice that babies in northern Germany are more often too heavy than those born in the south. For a long time, the birth weight in Germany rose from year to year, says Berger. One bundle of joy surpassed the other, especially in the 80s and 90s the weight curve reared up.
The reasons: Obese mothers, late births with an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes. Expectant mothers who suffer from this disease care for their child with too much sugar in the stomach. "If the mother's insulin release is disturbed, the baby grows too quickly in the womb," explains Berger.
Risks to heavy babies - during childbirth and later
The result: giant babies with a starting weight of up to six kilograms. With such dimensions, natural birth is often no longer possible or involves extreme risks, says Berger. It is particularly dangerous when the waist circumference of the overweight infant whose head circumference surpasses. "Then the skull is already born, but the rest of the body gets stuck," says Berger.
The child cannot breathe in such a squeezed position. There was a risk of paralysis of the arms, in the worst case even the death of the newborn. "Especially if the woman is not very tall herself, such a child can actually only be delivered by caesarean section".
But even if the birth was survived well - too high a birth weight does not only result in a pug baby in the cradle. According to studies, anyone who started life too hard tends to become overweight and develop diabetes in later years.
The Robert Koch Institute suspects the reason for this connection to be that in the early phase of prenatal development a species biological programming takes placethat can have a lifelong impact on physical development.
How prenatal care can help you achieve your ideal weight
But the time for new weight records on birth announcement cards seems to be over. According to figures from the Robert Koch Institute, the weight curve has been flattening again since the early 2000s. The value of slightly overweight children stagnates at around nine percent.
Berger sees the reasons for this in the growing common sense of the mothers. “Women are more concerned about their diet. The maxim: eat a lot, eat for two, no longer applies to pregnant women either. ”And while the influence of the father's body mass index‘ is limited, that of the mother has just as much as hers Eating Behavior During Pregnancy a big impact on your child's later dimensions.
But progress also helps with moderation: This is how screening for mothers who have one Develop gestational diabetes, much improved. Even if the value is only slightly exceeded, women are prescribed a strict diet and measuring their own sugar level several times a day. In general, the care provided by the gynecologist plays a major role.
"Up until the 1970s there was no ultrasound, so the birth weight was more or less a surprise," says Berger. It was only after the birth that you noticed that the baby was too light or too heavy. Today the doctor can do that approximate take-off weight using ultrasound calculate and exert influence even during pregnancy - in two ways.
Once on the mother's nutritional behavior, once on the duration of the pregnancy. "If the woman is rather slim and the child threatens to become much too heavy, we can initiate the birth a few days earlier," says Berger.
Height at birth does not say anything about the future height of the child
Newborn babies are typically around two feet in length. In Germany, the cut is around 51 centimeters - and corresponds to the average birth size worldwide. A study by an international team of researchers in the journal "Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology" suggests that the birth size of people is quite is independent of their ethnicity.
Regardless of whether children are born in China, Great Britain, Kenya or Brazil: If the mothers are well nourished, most newborns will have one Size between 47.5 and 51.3 centimeters. According to this, smaller infants can only be expected if the expectant mothers are starving or sick.
The length at birth also says little about the future size in adulthood. Doctors assume that large babies of small parents simply grow less in the following months, while small babies of large parents grow a few centimeters in length more quickly.
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